By Sitara Hewitt
With the cold and cozy days of winter setting in you may feel like your healthy rhythms are being interrupted or you may wish for more energy to keep up with busier times. Also you may be looking for some strategies for eating healthier during holiday events when people tend to gain weight. Look no further, here’s a little survival guide!
I feel that while parties, dinners and get-togethers are nourishing for our relationships and our souls, it’s important to exercise moderation in eating and even say no to the less meaningful events so that we don’t get overwhelmed.
One way to feel good about enjoying holiday feasts is by getting more strategic about our eating and activity for the whole month before and after. That way, when it comes time to enjoy a special dinner you can dig in and enjoy it without guilt.
Here are a few easy to follow steps:
Drink a green shake each day.
This one step has profoundly changed my weight and my overall health. Swap up your breakfast pastries or starches for a fresh, easy shake loaded with greens, fruits, protein, fibre and healthy fats. It takes minutes to prepare, you can put it in a to-go cup and take it out the door and it tastes amazing! You’ll feel full longer, your belly will get flatter, you’ll have more energy and your immunity will be stronger – a must for holiday season!
Here’s an easy recipe from my site.
Workout daily or Walk to do your errands:
Get regular about the gym, try to go 5 days a week. You’ll have more energy, and less stress if you make a commitment to yourself for just one hour a day. I find that I do it for my sanity – it’s the best stress reliever to drop out of my to-do lists in your head and get into my body – breathing deeply and getting my blood pumping is my favorite thing about working out. If you don’t go to the gym then start walking to run errands or just when you have a free 30 minutes, it’s a great way to workout and refresh your mind and body. I also sleep better at night if I burn off some physical energy during the day – something that helps greatly with holiday stress. The cool part is that you lose weight and boost your metabolism so when you have that slice of home made pumpkin pie you won’t feel an ounce of guilt! Earn your treats.
Sure, you should enjoy the turkey, vegetables, even some of the hearty breads and cheeses of the season – with reasonable portion sizes. But the sugar is what will ultimately put the most weight on – and cause the most cravings once holiday season is over. Also since there is a lot of sugar in alcohol and you may have a glass of egg-nog here and there is smarter to pass on the chocolates and cakes.
Choose the nights you will indulge in a glass or two and stick with sparkling water most nights. You’ll feel better the next day and avoid extra weight gain and dehydration. Also, I find it’s nice to just enjoy people sometimes without the buzz and realize that laughter and good energy are sometimes enough to give you a glow.
Boost yourself with some key supplements:
I love magnesium because it’s what’s known as a ‘catalytic mineral’ which essentially means it helps every system in the body function optimally. What I notice about it is that it significantly reduces my stress response – which is important with all the added duties and gatherings that the holidays bring. It keeps my digestion regular and helps me fall asleep quickly and wake refreshed. And if your family stresses you out sometimes, as only family can 😉 then magnesium will help you stay relaxed and centered through it all. I work with Natural Calm Magnesium now because I used it for years and found it was the only form that my body readily absorbed, and that really made a difference within hours of taking it. Helps with sore necks and backs too!
Reishi is an excellent anti-stress and potent immune boosting Chinese herb that will help you cope with stress and illness better.
Rescue Remedy drops always keep me calm in moments of intense stress, dose up during crazy Christmas shopping line-ups and intense gathering at the in-laws. It’s homeopathic, gentle and totally effective within minutes!
Vitamin C and Vitamin B help with energy and immunity.
One key thing that will help you during the holidays is to say ‘No’ to things that don’t really serve you or your family. Decide on your priorities for the season. To me what really matters is a serene, happy memorable holiday for me and my kids so I try not to let obligations infringe on my energy and time too much.
Pick and choose what events you go to, don’t feel badly about saying no. You can always connect with them in January when schedules open up a little. Shop online when possible to avoid line-ups and parking lots. Take time to meditate for 20 minutes to soothing music, go out for a brisk walk and recharge your batteries whenever you can. Eat clean, small portions and enjoy those special meals when they come. Stay in gratitude for all you have this season, and remember that the holidays are really about love and celebration.
May 2015 be your best year ever, and remember that each day is a chance to start fresh, and there’s nothing you can’t accomplish if you commit to it!
Sending you love and blessings,
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